John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When we took the train to Minneapolis, Minnesota, we had an interesting time. We left Milwaukee about 3:55 PM on a Thursday. The seats in the railroad car were all facing the wrong direction. When we asked why this was so, we were told that it was for safety reasons. When the regular conductor came into our car, he corrected the situation and changed the direction of the seats inside. He told us that in Chicago, before the train took off towards Milwaukee, they were supposed to change the seats into the correct position. Since the first woman who told us that this was caused for safety reasons, we wondered how the food would be in the diner car where she worked regularly. Probably, if we had found a fly or mouse in our food, that it was done for safety purposes. We therefore did not eat in the diner car. The train trip was wonderful, but because it was getting dark outside, we could not see much of the scenery. Minneapolis, Minnesota is wonderful city. The train depot was spacious, but like the Milwaukee Amtrak station, there was no restaurant inside of the station. Our son, Kurt, picked us up and drove us to his home in White Bear Lake, near St. Paul. We had a wonderful time there. Kurt gave us a tour of downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. Because Minnesota does not have many fish fry locations, we went to Appleby's to get some fish to eat for lunch. We had a chance to play with our grandson, Sam, who was celebrating his 2nd birthday while we were there. Olivia, Kurt's wife made a good homemade supper for us to enjoy. The next day, Saturday, we had a birthday party for Sam with many of his cousins, his grandparents on both sides of the family, his great-grandmother, and many of Olivia's cousins. The day went well until it started to rain outside. After all of the birthday guests left, we cleaned up the area and ate a meal together. We all wanted to watch the Wisconsin Badger Football game against Penn State, but that game was a complete wipeout for the Badgers. Both Kurt and Olivia graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. After giving up on the Badgers, my wife and I went to bed, and got up at 5:15 AM, in order to catch the train back to Milwaukee. The trip back started at 7:50 AM. The scenery on the trip back was breathtaking. The leaves on the trees were turning colors and the river looked beautiful as we rode by it. All of the things that we missed on the way there were now visable to us to enjoy. It was nice not having to drive all of the way there. The handicap bathrooms were decent in size, however the the other ones were fat man's folly to enter and use. The seats on the train were very comfortable. All of the trains are non-smoking. If anybody wants to smoke, there are certain train stops where people can take a smoking break. If you smoke on the train, you could leave the train at an unannounced stop and find your own way, minus the train, of getting anyplace. The people on the train were very cordial. If you don't like to drive, then the train is an excellent means of travel. If you start in Chicago. at about 2 PM on a Thursday, you could end up in Portland, Oregon on a Saturday morning. If you are going to travel that distance, you might want to reserve a sleeping car for your trip. We arrived back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at about 2 PM on Sunday afternoon. It is always nice to return to your home and to relax there. It is nice to travel. but there is no place like home to rest your feet and be yourself. I would not mind taking this train trip again. I would recommend it to anyone.